WASHINGTON — Sandra L. Kennedy has been named president of the International Mass Retail Association, succeeding Robert J. Verdisco.

Verdisco, who has held the post since 1990, will retire at the end of the year but continue as a consultant for one year.

Kennedy, who will begin full time on Dec. 30, worked most recently as director of Accenture’s Leadership Dialogue Series, a global learning program for senior executives in retail, consumer products and pharmaceuticals, based in Chicago. Prior to that, she worked for seven years as senior vice president of member services for the National Retail Federation from 1993 to 2000.

During her tenure at the NRF, Kennedy directed initiatives resulting in a 100 percent increase in conference revenues, nearly a 200 percent increase in international memberships and growth in membership retention, according to IMRA.

"Sandy is an association professional with more than 20 years’ experience and impressive accomplishments and talents, as well as specific retail expertise," IMRA chairman Joe Scarlett, who is chairman and chief executive officer of Tractor Supply Co., said in a statement. "[She is] a strategic thinker who is adept at developing and managing programs and staff."

Kennedy will attend her first IMRA conference, the Leadership Forum, the mass retail industry’s summit for industry leaders, Jan.19 to 21 in Naples, Fla.

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